July 13, 2020

Husson hangs on to topple gritty Tigers

BANGOR – The Husson Braves discovered Friday night that their new fast-paced style can get just a bit out of control at times.

Coach Kissy Walker’s team sped to a big first-half lead, then watched Rochester Institute of Technology erase it. But the Braves settled down during the late going and pulled away for an 85-71 women’s basketball victory in the first round of the Paul Bunyan Invitational at Newman Gym.

Husson, 3-1, plays 3-2 Bates College of Lewiston in today’s 3 p.m. tournament championship game. The Bobcats beat UMaine-Machias 91-43 in Friday’s early game.

Husson simply needed to slow down a bit and take pains to make good passes and take good shots.

“We were trying to focus on pushing the ball and we were pushing it at times that we didn’t necessarily have to,” said junior Kelly Dow of Sebec Village, who led a balanced Husson effort with 19 points – nine of which came in the final seven minutes – and five assists.

“[Coach] put the press back on and we got a lot of points off our defense tonight,” Dow added. “We had a lot of turnovers, overall, but we just had to compose ourselves and get it back in the flow.”

Senior Leslie Weed of Freedom tossed in 18 points and made six steals, while Brewer’s Leslie Trott contributed 16 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots for the Braves.

Freshman Liz Boone of Brewer provided 12 points, five rebounds and three blocks, while senior Liza Doughty netted 10 points, grabbed six boards and made seven assists.

Husson appeared to have the game in hand, building a 46-29 halftime advantage with an effective running game that included 20 points off RIT turnovers.

Instead, the 1-1 Tigers took advantage of their own press, harassing Husson into 14 second-half turnovers. RIT also pounded the ball inside to 6-foot forward Lauren Long, who scored 10 second-half points to help the visitors turn a 17-point deficit into a one-point lead.

Long, Amie Banis and Jennifer Heisner scored four points each during a 15-2 RIT scoring run that gave the Tigers a 62-61 edge with 7:29 to play. Husson withstood the surge and used a 2-2-1 full-court press to regain the momentum.

Dow and Trott were the catalysts for the Braves. Dow used her quickness and savvy to score inside, while Trott made sound offensive decisions and was a tenacious rebounder.

“We just had to pick it up, try to play better defense,” Trott said. “We changed up our defense more to try to get things mixed up for them, which I think worked, because we really went on a spurt at the end of the [game].”

Dow sparked Husson’s game-clinching 16-4 scoring run with a conventional three-point play, then Weed scored a fast-break layup off a Dow steal. Dow added a driving layup, before RIT’s Jennifer Miazga hit an eight-footer. However, Trott’s runner in the lane made it 70-64 with 4:32 remaining.

The Tigers got within four on an Banis jumper, but Dow scored from the lane, Weed hit a layup off a give-and-go pass from Trott, and Liza Doughty buried a 3-pointer to make it 77-66 with 2:09 left.

“This is kind of new for us, this style of play,” Walker said. “We went with our 2-3 [zone] and I thought that worked better on slowing [RIT]X down. We did kind of slow it down a little bit and start working the clock.”

Banis scored a game-high 25 points for RIT. Long had 17 points and seven rebounds, while Miazga added 13 points.

Braves 85, Tigers 71

Rochester Inst. Tech (1-1) Husson (3-1)

Player G AG F AF TP Player G AG F AF TP

Miazga 6 16 0 0 13 Allen 1 6 2 3 4

H. Banis 2 4 0 0 6 Trott 8 16 0 0 16

A. Banis 9 15 7 11 25 Weed 9 18 0 0 18

Heisner 3 6 0 0 6 Hughes 1 2 1 2 3

McGuire 0 3 2 2 2 Nye 0 5 0 0 0

Prokop 0 2 0 0 0 Doughty 4 12 0 1 10

Morley 1 1 0 0 2 Dow 8 9 2 3 19

Long 8 15 1 2 17 Turner 0 0 0 0 0

Hannan 0 1 0 0 0 Cole 0 0 0 0 0

Boone 4 7 4 4 12

Comeau 1 1 0 0 3

Totals 29 63 10 15 71 Totals 36 72 9 12 85

RIT 29 71

Husson 46 85

3-pt. goals: RIT (3-11): Miazga 1-4, H. Banis 2-4, A. Banis 0-1, McGuire 0-1, Prokop 0-1; Husson (4-17): Trott 0-3, Weed 0-3, Nye 0-4, Doughty 2-5, Dow 1-1, Comeau 1-1

Attendance: 150 (est.)

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